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The Intern Diaries: Madalyn

This is the third installment of our Intern Diaries series, wherein each week our lovely interns give you the inside scoop on what being a programming intern at a high-tech startup is really like. Read the first and second post of the series or listen to this group’s first podcast.


Hello! My name is Madalyn Coryea and I am in intern this summer at Riparian Data in Watertown, MA. I am heading into my senior year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as a Computer Science major & Digital Art minor, and this is my second technical internship.

One of the best parts about having a computer science internship is that you get to experience working at a real company on a real team of software developers. At both of my internships I’ve been able to work at companies where I write real code that directly influences the product. This is something I especially look for when I apply for an internship. If you’re like me, and want to be a key player in “the big picture” at your company, make sure you get to know what you’ll be doing at your interviews. If you don’t ask, you won’t know what the company expects from its interns.

Key phrases to look out for are: “We have a summer project that we put the interns on,” or “We have an exciting program planned for you!” Usually this means that the company doesn’t have interns working with their real product. Sometimes these companies are just trying to establish relations with interns to make them full-time employees when they’re done with college. Other times, they are just trying to fill an “intern-quota” to make the company look better. Personally, I would feel like this is wasted time. I want to be treated like a developer, and I want to be a contributor to the software. To avoid getting stuck with a gimmicky internship, I usually want to hear, “We need developers to work on our product.” It’s worked out for me so far! And a great part about being a Computer Science intern is that we are in high demand. This is good news for us! It means we can have our selection of companies to work for. So there’s no reason to go to a boring company at an internship you think you’ll hate.

Once you have your internship, you will really learn if this is what you want to do. Is this the type of code you want to write? Is this the kind of software you want to develop? Do you like front-end or back-end or something else? With the Computer Science industry as huge as it is, there are so many areas where you can find yourself happy with your work. And since internships are a short-term commitment it’s okay to experiment with different types of jobs in software.

So how do you get this wonderful internship? Continue reading The Intern Diaries: Madalyn

The Intern Diaries: Alex

interns_alexThis is the first installment of our Intern Diaries series, wherein each week our lovely interns give you the inside scoop on what being a programming intern at a high-tech startup is really like. This week Alex walks you through first impressions of his internship.

Hello, my name is Alex, and I am a sophomore at Oberlin College. I have been interning at SoftArtisans for a little over a month and am happy to report that my expectations have already been exceeded. I do real work, get to code, and have learned about the different parts of a software company.

Before arriving at SoftArtisans I didn’t have any warm and fuzzy feelings associated with offices. My dad works at a big law firm in Boston and over the years, my visits have shaped my perception of the work world. His office is a sterile and quiet place. The walls are white and the floors are so clean that I almost feel funny walking in with my sneakers on. However, after entering and sensing the atmosphere, it is evident shoes are not to be removed.

This leads me to why I love being at SoftArtisans. Sure it’s great to walk around barefoot and wear casual clothing, but more than that, it is all the other reasons that I feel comfortable at work.

I am a technical support intern and every day the Technical Services (TS) department does something called Stand-Up. During Stand-Up the team circles up and takes turns saying what they are working on. In addition to keeping the team organized, Stand-Up is a great opportunity to voice any concerns or ask for help.

In one of my first Stand-Ups, Continue reading The Intern Diaries: Alex

The Intern Diaries: Ingrid

This is the third installment of our Intern Diaries series, wherein each week our lovely interns try to give you the inside scoop on what being a programming intern at a high-tech startup is really like. [For Part 1 and Part 2] This week Ingrid tackles what makes for great code. See what she’s discovered below.

I’ve been considering what defines well-designed code this summer both via literature and my own experiences. It’s a big question so I’ve been taking my time, and slowly amassing a list of the characteristics of awesome code. However, this past week, the list has become longer and clearer in my mind because of the introduction of three-person code reviews. At this point, I’ve decided that the seven characteristics of stellar code are:

  1. Simplicity: the code takes the least convoluted and shortest way to resolve the issue.
  2. Readability: the code is formatted so it isn’t a pain to read. For example, I can assert with confidence that the C# ? operator can be easily replaced with an if/else statement just for the readability factor.
  3. Flexibility: if a piece of code is repeated frequently, can it be made into a method? Continue reading The Intern Diaries: Ingrid

The Intern Diaries

Our favorite time of year is upon us. It’s summertime, and that means kayaking down the Charles, BBQ’s in the parking lot, and best of all summer interns. We’re handing over the blogging reins to this talented crew. Each week follow along as they give you an inside look at SoftArtisans and Riparian Data, life as an intern at a start up, and any other random musings that pop into their heads.

(from left to right: Josh, Grace, Ingrid, Julian, Shane)

The questions:
1. Where do you go to school?
2. What do you study?
3. Give us a unique/random fact of your choosing.

The answers:
  1. Stanford University
  2. I’m still deciding on a major, but I know for sure I’m really excited about Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, and also possibly Bioengineering.
  3. I like performing in circus shows. My favorite trick is juggling torches, while balancing on a rolling globe and reciting 100 digits of pi.
Continue reading The Intern Diaries